ON MARCH 29 the Syndicat des Transports d'Ile-de-France was due to vote on its 2006 budget, expected to be worth €3·6bn. STIF has responsibility for organising public transport in Ile-de-France, and a green light for the budget should clear the way for several major investment projects.

One of these is a commitment to replace a significant part of the rolling stock fleet that currently moves commuters in and around Paris. With this in mind, suppliers are preparing for a tender that could be worth up to €2bn over 10 years.

Alstom is proposing a double-deck EMU able to run at 140 or 160 km/h. Unveiling a full-size mock-up last month, Alstom dubbed it the X'Trapolis Multiflex.

Starting point was the Z2N regional trainset, from which the design team set out to develop a train that would offer a feeling of space and security on routine journeys between home and the workplace.

A key factor was to eliminate equipment cupboards from the passenger area by moving apparatus to locations under the floor or on the roof. The intention is to give passengers boarding at the entrance vestibule an immediate view of available seats on both decks. Inter-car gangways 1·6 m to 1·8m wide will also offer a view through to the adjacent vehicle.

The main route through the train will be the lower-deck central gangway which will be 750mm wide. On the upper deck are two narrower gangways reached by separate staircases from each vestibule; there are single seats by the windows and two seats between the gangways, which offer a floor to ceiling height of just under 2m. The face-to-face seating bays are 1640mm wide, 10mm more than on the Z2N sets.

Entrance doors part to give a 2m wide opening to speed boarding. Once in the vestibule, passengers will divide into four distinct flows: those going up the two flights of stairs to the upper deck, those heading for the lower deck on the central stairway, and those moving to the next car through the wide gangway.

A multi-purpose zone is proposed between the vestibule and the end of the car, with accommodation for cycles, push-chairs and luggage, plus some seating.

The partition behind the driver's cab will be of glass, giving passengers a view of the line ahead and contributing to the light feel that the designers are seeking.

  • CAPTION: A multi-purpose area is located between the vestibule and the car end
  • CAPTION: The upper deck has two gangways flanking double seats in the centre of the car and single seats on each side next to the stairs